NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Despite the belief that migraines are rare, statistics estimate that migraine headache affects about 20% of the population. 

What is a migraine, as opposed to a headache?

“A headache is a beginning form that can develop into a migraine but the migraine has those sensory issues that come along with it so you have the vision impairment people also have nausea and really extreme pain,” said Education Instructor, Shelle Hagan. 

Triggers for migraines are food, allergies, hormonal imbalance, environmental triggers, and stress.

But how does a massage help with pain in your head and neck?

Student and Massage Therapist Stephanie Aga tells us in the massage industry clients come in for migraines fairly often.

“Massages really help with migraines for the fact of everything is kind of inflamed, with a migraine, the muscles get tight and having that work manually through the neck through the occipital area and through the lower back of the head and through the upper shoulder blade will help release some of that tension to kind of give everything movement space to release,” said Aga. 

Hagan tells us that research in the past from group studies shows that people with migraines showed a decrease in their pain and migraine activity after a massage treatment.

Aga can attest to that personally.

“As someone who used to suffer from migraines I’ve gotten those massages before and they have dramatically helped with, for me anyway, with the pain, nausea, everything like that so to be able to offer that and help other people when I know what it’s like is important,” said Aga.

And if you’re suffering at home and can’t get out don’t fret, Hagan says some of the techniques learned in the class Wednesday can even be done at home.

“So a lot of the bodywork that we’re doing you will want to risk massage therapists to do as far as stones in cold placement now that is something that a person could do on their own so they could place the stones in strategic places on their face to help with that pain,” said Hagan.

But if you’re interested in getting out for some fresh air, Elite Massage Academy will be there to help.

Getting regular massages can not only help decrease stress but also alleviate migraines.

For information on classes and migraine help, visit: and